Unnatural Death: Confessions of a Medical Examiner Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Michael Baden
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. During Chapter Two, what do the doctors at the table of the woman who died believe was her cause of deathf?

2. What trait does Baden note forensic pathologists have to have?

3. What does Baden note about the FBI photographer at the scene of the autopsy?

4. What fact does Baden point to that makes him believe Miriam Weinfeld was not raped?

5. What does the author note about the competency of natural death autopsies?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the People vs. Levine case. What was the case, and why did Baden fail to do as he was asked by the DA?

2. Discuss the symptoms of strychnine.

3. What was Humes' excuse about the faulty autopsy, and is this excuse valid?

4. Describe why Baden notes the conspiracy theorists' use of the head movement of Kennedy after his shooting leads to unreliable conclusions.

5. Explain why identification of the victims of Flight 66 was hindered.

6. What are the ways mentioned in Chapter Six to identify a body?

7. Describe the blunders that occurred during the Levin and Chambers case.

8. Briefly explain the case of Ann Hart.

9. Explain Baden's experience of the convergence of hospital medicine and the morgue, and why the event had an impact on him.

10. Describe why there was controversy surrounding the death of Elvis.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In the Joseph Christopher case, Baden points out several odd serial killer characteristics. What made Christopher a rare serial killer? What were his methods? What were his motives? How does this differ from other serial killers? Be sure to be detailed in your answers, and include each phase of Christopher's killing spree, including:

• The shootings in Buffalo

• The killings of the taxi drivers

• The slashings in New York

Essay Topic 2

John Belushi died of an overdose of heroin, according to Baden. Cathy Smith admits to giving Belushi the drugs, although she disagrees with his time of death, or that her specific injection caused his death. Regardless of these facts, do you think that, even if Cathy had injected Belushi's final dose, that her act constituted a crime? Why or why not? What does Baden say about most drug injection murder cases? Why did Belushi's case differ? Did Belushi's record of massive drug addiction predispose him to die of an overdose, regardless of who injected him? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

There are several cases in the book where individuals take part in the death of another person, but are determined to be innocent of wrongdoing. These cases include the case of Daphne Mellon, the doctor and nurse in Chapter 10, and the Sutton Place banker, Robert. Choose one of these cases, and discuss the following:

1.) What was the cause of death for the victim?

2.) What were the circumstances surrounding their death?

3.) Why was no one convicted of their murder?

4.) Do you think that the person(s) involved in the victim's death should have been brought to trial? Why or why not? What is the difference between your chosen case, and the case of Cathy Smith, who served time for giving John Belushi his last drug injection? Why was she brought to justice, but the people in your chosen case were not? What does this say about the current system?

Be sure to go into specific detail about why these deaths were considered accidents, even though someone else was present, or contributed to the death.

(see the answer keys)

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